How much will university really cost?

Concerns about student debt are normal, but how much will university really cost?

How much you pay back for your higher education depends on how much you are earning after you leave university. If you are earning good money, you will pay back far more than if you are not. Remember that, under the new deal, you don’t pay back anything until you are earning £21,000 a year.

The good news is that you can apply for a loan to cover the tuition fees and living costs at university before you start, so you pay nothing up-front. The tuition-fee loan is not means-tested but the living costs loan is and your parents are expected to make up the difference.

The government also provides grants for living costs that don’t have to be repaid. The full maintenance grant is £3,387 and, if your parents earn less than £25,000, this is what you will receive.

Those on a family income of between £25,000 and £42,620 will receive a grant on a sliding scale of between £3,378 and £50.

Many universities offer bursaries to students from poorer families, which don’t have to be repaid and range from £500 to £3,000 a year, based on parental income.

One big concern is that student loans aren’t big enough to cover the living costs of food, books, accommodation and travel. With student rents rising and some costs increasing, living off a loan can be tough. That is why you need to ensure you know how to budget and that you don’t spend your money in the first few weeks of term.

Work out how much money you have to spend each week and stick to it. Take a look at the Money Saving Expert website, which is full of great ideas for how to stretch your student loan.

If you get into financial trouble, don’t go to payday lenders but seek assistance as soon as possible from within your institution. Universities and student unions have funds to assist students who find themselves cash-strapped.

Tuition fees and financial support packages vary according to which UK country you are choosing to study in. Check arrangements in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland if you are applying to study in one of these countries.

Smart students get sponsored
With the cost of going to university a big concern, applicants should explore their options for sponsored degrees.

A sponsored degree is a way to get a degree and be paid while you study as well as gain valuable work experience with a reputable company.

You work and study at the same time and ideally have no student loan to pay off when you graduate. Details of these programmes vary.

You could find you are working four days a week and studying one day a week at a nearby university, or you could study for a year and work for a year – or you could work part-time and study the rest of the time. The best bit is that you will usually walk into a well-paid job at the end of it.

Most sponsored degrees are in the fields of business, management and engineering.

On some sponsorship schemes you are contracted to work for the company once you graduate, so make sure you’re happy with that. And you should be aware that life on a sponsored degree might be very different to that of most undergraduates. While other students are partying and having holidays, you are likely to be working.

Employers offering sponsored degrees include Asda, which offers a two-year foundation degree in retail from Manchester Metropolitan University, and Barclays Bank, which has degrees in management at Anglia Ruskin or Nottingham Trent universities.

One of the most desirable sponsored degrees for budding aeronautical engineers is with Airbus, which offers a BEng degree to young people with good A-level grades (Bs or above) in maths and physics.

The students do their studying at either Glyndwr University or the University of the West of England and are paid a salary from the first day. When they graduate, they walk straight into a job paying £28,000 a year.

“Most students have to pay back a loan,” says Tony Rooke of Airbus. “Our graduates don’t. Plus, they do very well academically and I think that’s because they are putting theory into practice immediately.”

Students interested in manufacturing engineering should check out the MEng degree at Loughborough University, which is sponsored by eight companies. Students receive a £1,000 bursary a year for the first two years together with work placements, at the end of which they are highly employable.

For those with a head for figures, Lancaster University runs a four-year degree with Ernst and Young in accounting, auditing and finance. Students receive a bursary in their first year followed by paid work placements.

Next year the bursary is due to rise, making this degree even more attractive to students.

(Source: TheGuardian)


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!